In response to my long anti-war, anti-army, anti-sympathizers rant “Dear Troops Supporter: What I Believe In,” dan512 posted a comment which I think deserves some reply. Now, I rarely answer to negative comments. If they are egregiously trollish, I just remove them. If they are mundane, I just ignore them. But this one is neither: it’s downright offensive, and my gloves are off. Here is the text of that comment:
As a Jewish person, whose German grandparents were murdered in the Holocaust, reading your post fills me with sadness and with anger. I don’t know how I would react to your stupidity and ignorance if you were sitting in front of me right now, if I would spit in your face or if I would just start to cry.
“I do not believe that “they’re just doing what they’re ordered to” is an adequate rationalization for surrendering one’s moral responsibility to a group of thugs. It did not justify what the Nazi SS officers did, it did not justify what the Soviet gulag administrators did, and it does not justify what “the troops” do.”
Did you go to school? And where? Do you know anything about Europe? Do you know what happened there between 1933 and 1945? Do you have any idea what was going on in the concentration camps? Do you know what the SS did in every country the Germans conquered?
DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT BY PUTTING OUR TROOPS ON ONE LEVEL WITH THE SS YOU ARE PUTTING YOURSELF ON ONE LEVEL WITH JOSEPH GOEBBELS? (I suggest you look up that name on Wikipedia, you stupid moron).
There is an old German saying: “If you don’t know shit, you should shut the fuck up!”
I can’t say I know anything about German sayings, but that’s a pretty good saying. Too bad Dan didn’t apply it to himself. I like how he thinks I have somehow never heard anything about the SS or the concentration camps, and that I made my analogy in complete ignorance. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I am not an expert on Nazi Germany, but Nazi propaganda and Hitler’s regime are not issues I am wholly unfamiliar with. This web site on Nazi propaganda is my favourite: it’s an invaluable look into the Nazi propaganda machine.
My knowledge, however, is completely irrelevant, since Dan’s attempt at associating me with Goebbels is ridiculously flawed. Goebbels was not an ideological enemy of the SS: he was minister of propaganda for the Nazis’ imperialist, fascist regime. I, on the other hand, am an ideological enemy of the US Army and the US imperialist, fascist regime. Therefore, following his analogy, I must be in fact the exact opposite of Goebbels. I can live with that.
There’s only one way I can make any sense of Dan’s addle-headed analogy, but it’s even stupider, so I’m not sure if that’s what he meant. It might make sense if he’s so stupid as to believe that the US is not a imperialist, fascist regime, and that the torture and killing of innocents his troops are doing in Iraq is completely different from the torture and killing of innocents SS troops did in Europe. But the people in Iraq are virtually all Muslim, so I guess that makes it all right, you self-righteous, racist little fuck?
I want to be very clear here: I am decidedly not comparing the level of immorality of SS officers or Soviet officers to that of American troops, although I think that any trained murderer, whatever his nationality, is capable of the worst atrocities. I do not think that the murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis is numerically as ponderous as the Holocaust. But why should I care? At this point, any discussion of which atrocity is worse is bean-counting at best, and disgustingly offensive at worst.
I wrote the paragraph that Dan quoted in order to make clear the point that “they’re just doing what they’re ordered to” is an invalid rationalization in all cases. The SS officers and Soviet officers are just a more blatant demonstration of this fact. But the exact same principle applies to all soldiers everywhere. Whatever crimes they commit cannot be justified by saying “they were following orders.” Being ordered to steal, hurt or kill does not magically give one the right to steal, hurt or kill, especially since the ones issuing the orders do not have that right either. No individual or collection of individuals, whether under orders or not, can have any right to steal, hurt or kill another, because no such right exists.
Dan, I hate you even more than I hate the average war sympathizer, because you use your heritage as a way to rationalize your support of an imperialist, fascist regime. You are a pig. Your grandparents died because of the State and its control over people, because of imperialist fascistic aims, but here you are, still defending the State, still not learning the fucking lesson.
I don’t have any pithy French-Canadian sayings to reply to yours, but here’s something they’d say in reply to your imbecilic comment: “ferme ta gueule, maudit con!”